CAIR Slams House’s ‘Hypocritical, Racist’ Censure of Palestinian-American Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

Civil rights group also condemns failure to act against Rep. Mast for equating Palestinian civilians with Nazis

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 11/7/2023) – CAIR today condemned the House of Representatives for censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the lone Muslim Palestinian-American woman in Congress. She is being targeted for daring to support Palestinian human rights and calling for a ceasefire in response to Israel’s ruthless killing of more than 10,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including more than 4,800 children. 

Despite initial reports indicating that the vote would occur today, the vote to censure Congresswoman Tlaib took place late last night at 10:24 PM. The outcome saw 234 members of Congress voting “YES” to censure Tlaib, with 212 Republicans and 22 Democrats in agreement. On the other side, 188 House Representatives voted “NO” to censure Tlaib, consisting of 4 Republicans and 184 Democrats, while 4 House Representatives voted “PRESENT,” including 1 Republican and 3 Democrats, which included PA-7’s Rep. “Susan Wild.

Before the censure vote, Rep. Tlaib publicly rebuked the suppression of her voice, declaring, “I am the only Palestinian American serving in Congress, and my perspective is needed here now more than ever. I will not be silenced, and I will not let anyone distort my words.” 

In a statement, CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Dr. Ahmet Tekelioglu said:

“It is unfortunate that Rep. Susan Wild failed to take a principled stance in the face of this partisan, anti-Palestinian bullying against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of her fellow caucus members. Our Lehigh Valley and broader Pennsylvania communities are deeply disturbed and upset. When elected officials fail to stand against bullying of their own, we are all weakened.” 

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: 

“The American Muslim community stands against this hypocritical and racist targeting of Representative Tlaib, whose voice is indispensable in representing the concerns of millions of Americans who are horrified by the war crimes our government supports against the Palestinian people. She should wear this cowardly censure as a badge of honor. We will not be cowed by those attempting to muzzle our voices. 

“Both Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives who orchestrated the suppression and censure of the only Muslim Palestinian voice in Congress under the cover of darkness while ignoring the openly racist, bigoted and violent remarks that members of Congress have made about Muslims and Palestinians, should be deeply ashamed of their actions. They are on the wrong side of history.”

In a statement, CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid said: 

“Michigan Muslims proudly stand alongside Congresswoman Tlaib as she champions the human rights and dignity of all people, including Palestinians. This censure also represents a disgraceful form of political intimidation that establishes a perilous precedent. Following Congresswoman Omar’s similar censure for speaking truth to power in Washington, D.C., it reinforces the perception that any Muslim member of Congress who dares to challenge the establishment will face suppression.

“It is also deeply hypocritical that Congress acted swiftly to censure Representative Tlaib while hesitating to censure Representative Brian Mast for his racist comments, equating Palestinian civilians with Nazis. Such remarks not only endorse but incite violence against Palestinians in Gaza and pose a threat to the safety of Muslims and Arabs in the United States.

“Congress’ failure to address Rep. Mast’s anti-Palestinian bigotry underscores a lack of consistency in the principles of fairness and justice that should guide the people’s House. It is disheartening that many Republicans and Democrats in Congress cannot uphold the values of equality and non-discrimination for all communities.” 


Representative Rich McCormick (R-GA) proposed H.Res 845 to censure Rep. Tlaib after her emotional appeal against the inhumane actions of Israel. In contrast, House Representatives like Brian Mast (R-FL) have made inappropriate comparisons between Palestinians and Nazis, an unbecoming behavior for a congressman that both incites genocide in Gaza, and threatens the safety and security of Muslims and Arabs in the United States. 

CAIR yesterday issued a message to all members of the House of Representatives urging them to “VOTE YES” to censure Rep. Mast for his racist remarks and to “‘VOTE NO” on censure resolutions unjustly targeting Rep. Tlaib. 

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Ahmet Tekelioglu, 617-401-5397 (mobile);

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